meant. At any rate, we had kept within the law and
furnished the proper authorities with data, and so far had not met with the
On the previous evening Ambassador Jean-Louis Mandereau had met
with the Foreign Minister, and the official request for extradition, in the
proper form, had reached La Paz. On the same day Ambassador Mandereau saw us,
and we brought him up to date. He let fall a remark that made me wonder whether
he really understood the problem: "Because of you, I have had to take all the
passion out of this matter and make it entirely a legal one."
Ambassador," I replied, "Barbie's torture of Jean Moulin was the Passion of the
Without translators (the German Embassy had
translated into Spanish the German documents that were in the French dossier),
without a press attaché to tell the Bolivian newspapers about the yoke
the Nazis had imposed on France, and without energetic leadership, the French
Embassy in La Paz hardly seemed in accord with President Pompidou's "forceful
and urgent" letter, so well translated into Spanish through the efforts of the
French Embassy that the Bolivian authorities are still smiling over it.
On Saturday, February 26, I tactfully sounded out the reporters. They
had instructions not to say anything about our presence. Only one concrete
happening and they would have a chance to publicize what we had to say and
show. My idea of a press conference delighted them, especially since I proposed
showing the film of the program on which Barbie's victims identified him from
the Ladislas de Hoyos interview, as shown on ORTF television in Paris. Then I
had to dash around madly but discreetly to find an adequate projector.
On Sunday, while we were walking on the Prado, Mme. Halaunbrenner
suddenly heard two women chatting in Yiddish, and lost no time in introducing
herself. Her new friends were already aware of why we were there, and invited
us to luncheon and to spend the afternoon in their home.
morning I summoned all the reporters by telephone to a press conference at 11
A.M. I had to act quickly; if I waited until afternoon, the police might stop
everything. At 10:15 half a dozen plainclothesmen entered the hotel. Two came
up to me in the lobby and asked me to follow them to police headquarters. I
went upstairs to get a few things from my room, and found two policemen
standing guard outside it. I telephoned our